A noninvasive approach for assessing lung inflammation should accelerate efforts to develop drugs for inflammatory lung conditions like cystic fibrosis and pneumonia, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.
In this PET image, the arrow shows inflammation of the lungs.
Researchers have used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to monitor artificially induced inflammation in the lungs of healthy volunteers. The new imaging process may help doctors monitor the conditions of patients with inflammatory lung diseases and should make it easier to test potential anti-inflammatory drugs in trials.
"Until now, when we wanted to assess whether a new drug decreased lung inflammation, the options for specifically measuring active inflammation were not pleasant," says lead author Delphine Chen, M.D., chief resident in nuclear medicine at the medical schools Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. "We could perform a bronchoscopy and gather samples directly from the breathing passages, or we could have patients inhale a saline solution and cough it back up."
Michael Purdy | EurekAlert!
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